I walked to the mailbox yesterday to find that a strangely shaped package had arrived from England. Turned out to be the hair dye Declan had ordered (I'm not at all sure why he ordered from a company in England...probably just so he could say he did). The day he ordered the dye, I bought him some hair bleach. Of course, he was driven to get it done last night, so I helped him. As he only has a strip of hair about an inch wide and 3 inches long that runs from his forehead to the nape of his neck in what is known as a "Mohawk", the bleaching and dying process weren't too difficult. I love that prickly, funny, passionate kid.
As I was squeezing the bleach concoction onto his hair I thought about the fact that I've always wondered about how I would be as mother to a daughter as I'm so totally inept when it comes to fixing hair. It occurred to me that having a punk son is very satisfying.
When we were done with the coloring, he asked me to shave the sides. I don't like the mess or the way the electric razor makes my hands tingle but I do love shaving him because it's the only time he allows me close enough to touch him. We talk openly about things. I found out last night that he and his old girlfriend have gotten back together.
She's interesting. She lives in another state and they met at a Quaker youth retreat. Before I met her, a couple of people who knew her came up to me and told me that Dex's new girlfriend looks like me. When I met her, she walked up to me, stuck her finger in my face and said, totally serious, "I do not look like you". I thought she was joking, although she didn't introduce herself; she just marched away. Turned out that she wasn't joking. They dated for almost a year and not once, in that whole time, was she ever cordial or polite to me. I went waaaaay out of my way on several occasions to drive to pick her up so they could spend some time together and not once did she ever say so much as "thanks". Needless to say, I was not terribly happy when D told me they got back together. He said he talked to her about how she'd spoken to me and that she had been unaware of having been rude. We'll see if anything changes. I explained to him (again) that his life is a lot easier if I can feel comfortable and trust the people he hangs out with. When they're rude to me and antagonistic, it only makes me less likely to be willing to drive them around or go out of my way to facilitate them being together.
One thing about her, and all the girls Dec has dated, they're all very strong, very sure of themselves, intelligent, independent young women. My son is definitely attracted to feminists and I couldn't be any prouder! He also is very accepting of variations in gender identification. Although he has only ever dated girls and doesn't really seem to be attracted to guys, I think he identifies as bi, as do several of his close friends, on principle, I think.
We may clash on a lot of things-I drive him crazy, he drives me crazy-but I think he's growing into a really neat young man. I think one day, when he no longer needs to reject what I stand for, he's going to take all his negative energy and use it to make positive changes in the world. One of these days he will find his cause-some injustice in the world that he believes is worth fighting for-and he will be a powerful force.
Oh yeah, as a footnote: After we were all done with his hair, he was standing in the livingroom showing it off to Hammy, he said he'll probably go to school and get beat up and then suspended. I initially thought it would be because he is the only punk in his school but he said no, it's because his hair is red-the color of one of the gangs. Oh my goodness, what kind of a world is this when a 15 year old punk kid can't dye his mohawk mercurochrome red without the authorities thinking he's a "Blood" (or is it "Crip"?)? I hope he doesn't get beaten up. If school authorities do mess with him I'm happy to take them on. No one is less likely to be part of a gang than my kid-anarchist that he is. We'll see what happens.